Local Taste

The feminine side of wine

We met Patrizia Malanga, co-owner of the Le Vigne di Raito winery. She told us about what it means to be a woman in a male-dominated industry

Di Francesca Faratro

“My family has never worked in the viticulture or agriculture industries. My passion for wine was born at a mature age. It was connected to my love for nature and the desire to live in close contact with it, as well as the need to create an activity that would give meaning to my life and maybe even leave a sign”. Those are Patrizia Malanga’s words, owner since 2001, together with her husband, of Le Vigne di Raito, a winery as well as a farm. Together, they bought a semi-abandoned land of over two hectares in a beautiful place, located between at Raito di Vietri Sul Mare.

A great personality

Right from the start, they began to give life to their ambitious project. After learning the area’s traditions, which has always been dedicated to the production of wine grapes, the two spouses decided to plant a vineyard in their plot of land to produce a quality wine that could best express the aroma and the flavors of those magical places. «The wine we had in mind should have had a great personality and a strong bond with the territory, expressing strength and character. – continues Patrizia – The choice was then clear: native black grape varieties with Aglianico and Piedirosso, the great Campania grape varieties ».

Ragis Rosso and Vitamenia rosato, Le Vigne di Raito wine bottles, courtesy of the company

An immersion in the Mediterranean scrub

In 2007 their first harvest with Regis red and in 2012 with Vitamenia Rosato, both organic (certified by I.C.E.A.) and produced exclusively with locally grown grapes. The company, immersed in the Mediterranean scrub’s typical vegetation, alternates the vines with lemon groves, ancient olive trees, pomegranates, strawberry trees, and many other varieties present.

Field training

On the other hand, the vineyards cultivated on terraces typical of the Amalfi Coast are delimited by the so-called macere, a term used to indicate the vertical walls created to facilitate to the full use of the land above. The difficulties in accessing these challenging areas force the processing in the production chain exclusively by hand, doubling the necessary force, especially during the harvesting period. “Being a woman in a male-dominated sector was a problem in my business but only in the initial phase. I was “an ignorant woman”. I did not have the right skills and the necessary training to be able to manage a vineyard first and then a cellar But I have never been discouraged: I rolled up my sleeves, invested in training, both theoretical and practical, studying and working directly in the field to learn as quickly as possible, and in the end, I think I succeeded ».

Paola Malanga working during the harvest season, courtesy of the company

The wine tourism activity

Le Vigne di Raito has been dedicated to wine tourism for some years now, enjoying considerable international success and carrying out guided wine tours, enjoyed almost exclusively by foreign customers. These experiences lead guests into the tradition, history, and flavors of the Amalfi Coast through an experiential journey that ends with tasting wines paired with excellent products from the Campania region.

Useful information:

Le Vigne di Raito Azienda Agricola Agrituristica, Via San Vito 9, Raito, levignediraito.com

(Translation by Michela Pandolfi)

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